July 28, 2014 7:31 pm

Province boosts skills training for LNG jobs while critics question plan

WATCH: More spaces are being created to meet growing demand for skilled workers but critics say it’s not enough and foreign workers will be more important than ever. Jas Johal reports.

The province says it’s taking action to make sure there are enough trained workers to handle an expected job boom in the B.C. LNG industry.

Today the province announced another $1.3 million to boost skills training at BCIT.

A total of 272 seats are being added, some of them as early as this September.

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The province says up to 100,000 jobs will be created if new liquified natural gas projects come to fruition.

However, the NDP says today’s announcement shows the province is scrambling to catch up and still doesn’t have a comprehensive “B.C. Jobs First” plan in place.

Even with new funding being made available, the government acknowledges B.C. may need temporary foreign workers to fill some of the jobs.

SFU professor and energy expert Mark Jaccard says there are some problems with Clark’s LNG plan. He says China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan have a lot of options for getting gas.

“That is going to create this ‘gas-on-gas’ competion that will lower prices over time,” says Jaccard. “The Chinese can develop their own huge shale gas resources or connect by pipeline to Russia or other central Asia countries.”

Jaccard says prices are likely to fall over time, and the huge profits that the government is predicted could be in jepoardy.

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